Monday, February 7, 2011

Reflections on Book

I thought the book had many good points about our educational system, some creative ideas/solutions, some unique spins on things, and was also, at times, over my head. The multi-layered graphs being a good example.

Some of the videos we watched for class also drove home some points the book made. For example, in the last videos we watched, Sir Ken Robinson talked about how education today is like fast food. It is cooked for the masses. He said something along the lines that education needs to be more fine cuisine. People walking into a nice up-scale restaurant for the first time would take the time to look at the menu before just ordering like we do at McDonald's. The book calls this approach disruptive. And boy would it be disruptive if each student looked at our classroom as a menu at a fancy restaurant. How could we cater to that child's needs and tastes?

I think it will be interesting to see if computer-driven education becomes the way of the future or if things basically stay the way they are. It would certainly allow for differentiation at a whole new level. The book certainly makes one think. I look forward to thinking back to the things said in the book when I talk to my grandkids about what they did at school today!!

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Reflection Post

overall, it was tempting to bristle a bit at the notion of Harvard MBA's giving pat educational advice about our broken system. However, in the introduction--and continuing throughout the book-- they allay some of these concerns by taking some of the traditional and long-standing criticims of schools and playing devil's advocate against them. Structurally, this gives them a bit of credence for reader-educators.

I agree with the authors that simply "cramming" computers into our classrooms is not the solution. This approach was part of the model in South Dakota--begun with good intentions with the Governor's wiring projects in the late 90's, but really following the path described by the authors.

While i agree in part with the disruptive model for deployment of the computers, I'm not sure about the emphasis and somewhat wholesale buy-in into online courses. I would echo Mile-High's concerns that they are just as good as traditional models. I look at my own students who are taking online courses, and the patterns they fall into: figure out the bare minimum to read, take the quizzes with friends, and if there's discussion, bland affirmations to get the points.

But...stuff like this is good to read. While i think we've gotten away from the commercial system of material buy-in discussed on p128--most of us are going far beyond that now--status quo is comfortable. Outside perspectives can always help.

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Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Reflection Post

I realized that the author is banking on online courses to replace a significant number traditionally taught courses. This simply will not take place to the extent he claims: 50%. This would mean that online courses are as effective as courses taught in a traditional sense.

I think that the possibilities of individualization are increased when technology is used in an intelligent way.

I disagree with the belief that using computers does not only change the way we go about teaching and learning, but it also should effect what we teach. The idea was proposed of why we teach something that a computer or software can produce in fraction of the time. I want my Doctor and Pharmacists to take their math and science classes with a professor and not online using a program to skate through college algebra.